Effects of Social Media Apps on University Students’ Health Behaviour in Physical Activity, Weight Loss, and Nutrition Perspective
Keywords:Social Media Apps, Health-Related Matters, Physical Activity, Weight Loss, Nutritional Choices
The extensive body of literature focuses on examining the role of social media apps in health-related matters. Conversely, developing county like Pakistan, there is lack of empirical evidence regarding social media app influence specifically on health-related matters in developing countries like Pakistan. The study aimed to examine the purpose of social media apps, commonly used apps, impact, and demographic attributes on health-related matters. Three domains of health (physical activity, weight loss, and nutritional choices) were considered among university students in Southern Punjab, Multan, Pakistan. This quantitative study was carried out on 200 university students aged 18-29 years, through a survey design. Results showed the primary reason for using social media apps is to gain health-related information, effectively and conveniently and YouTube is the most preferred application for this purpose. The impact of apps on health-related matters (physical activity, weight loss, and nutritional choices) was found to be significant and measured through regression analysis. Demographic variables, gender, and age were examined relative to study variables (app usage, physical activity, weight loss, and nutritional choices), gender differences are significant in health-related app usage and physical activity, while it remains insignificant in weight loss and nutritional choices. Age differences were significant in in-app usage, physical activity, weight loss, and nutritional choices. The key findings of this particular study could assist app developers and health practitioners to encourage the masses in adopting health-related behaviors and by providing sufficient introductory app-related information by creating realistic performance expectancy thus minimizing the risk perception of the masses.
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